GREEN RIVER – The Green River High School boys soccer team is excited to announce three of its seniors were voted onto the 2019 all-conference team by coaches from around the state.
The Wolves had many talented players on the field this year, but only three were given this prestigious honor: Erik Gwaltney, Chase Stoeger and Haden Counts.
“Of course as a coach you would like to see more of your kids make the list,” GRHS head coach Chris Bieber said. “Unfortunately, you can’t force other coaches to vote for your players.”
Starting at the defensive position, this is Gwaltney’s second-straight year receiving all-conference. As a senior this year, Gwaltney played big minutes on the back line and finished the year with five assists.
As a defender, it takes a very talented player to jump into the action and become an offensive weapon. Not only was he a valuable player on the back line, but Bieber used him on many special occasions.
“Erik was our guy for a lot of things,” he said. “We used him for set pieces, corner kicks and, of course, his big arm for deep throw-ins.”
Throughout the year, Gwaltney used his speed and his size to keep opposing teams off the scoreboard. Between his size, physicality, and his speed, Gwaltney has all of the ingredients to makeup a dominant defender. Bieber also mentioned his ability to help lead.
“What makes him a great leader is also his ability to pick his teammates back up,” he said. “Whenever a goal was scored on us or if he noticed a teammate’s head not in the right mindset, he did a great job picking them back up.”
As for Stoeger, he is another high-impact player earning consecutive all-conference selections. Stoeger earned this year’s selection at the midfield position, but late in the year Bieber switched him back to defense.
He not only helped boost the already stacked back line, but he also spread the ball throughout the entire field and created many scoring chances for his team. Between his ability to possess the ball and make smart decisions, Stoeger always had his team set up for success.
“Chase was an all-around leader for our team,” Bieber said. “He played many positions for us and he kept the games interesting. No matter what position he played, he was always one of the best players on the field.”
Following the state tournament this year, Stoeger wrapped up his final year in a Wolves uniform with 11 goals and three assists. His 11 goals led the entire team in scoring and he finished in third place in all of 4A soccer.
“Chase has been a great player for us for many years,” Bieber said. “He absolutely deserves to be recognized for this prestigious honor.”
At the forward position, GRHS senior Haden Counts also made his presence known. He wrapped up his senior year leading the entire 4A conference with eight assists. He also tallied seven goals throughout the season and finished second on the team in goals scored, trailing only Stoeger.
“Haden is an incredible player,” Bieber said. “He was always looking for the ball, and whenever he had it at his feet he was always unselfish with it. There were times when I wished he would have just shot the ball, but he was always looking to feed his teammates with scoring opportunities. After a great season, he too is very deserving of the honor.”
Just like for any coach, it hurts to see their seniors move on. Bieber realizes the giant holes these three players leave behind, but he has high hopes for his underclassmen to fill them.
“Right now, it’s next man up mentality,” Bieber said. “We just need to have the people behind them step up and do a great job.”